Rhode Island Governor Signs Important Net Metering Legislation

Policy Watch

by SI Staff on Tuesday 21 July 2009

Gov. Donald L. Carcieri, R-R.I., has signed H.5461A - net metering legislation that encourages renewable energy production by crediting system owners for the energy their systems feed into the grid. The governor signed similar legislation, S.485, from the State Senate last week.

"The fair and equitable rate of reimbursement resulting from this legislation should greatly accelerate investment in renewable projects," said State Sen. Joshua Miller.

The bills were intended to correct an overly narrow interpretation by the R.I. Public Utilities Commission of last year's net metering bill, which restricted community net metering to five accounts.

The new law allows the utility to write a check to the project owner, which they can use to pay whichever electric bills they desire. Or they can use it to pay off debt incurred by the construction of the solar panels. Certain producers, like municipalities, farms and affordable housing developers, can opt to have up to 10 of their other bills credited with the value of the excess generation, instead of receiving a check. The law also clarifies that government entities can collaborate on net metered projects.

SOURCE: Office of the R.I. Governor